THUNDER BAY — A low-cost airline that began flying into Thunder Bay last year is expected to return in early November, and will increase its weekly flight schedule to Toronto next summer.
Flair Airlines will be resuming flights to and from the city on Nov. 1, after it was forced to suspend service to the city due to runway improvements at the Thunder Bay International Airport.
The Edmonton-based carrier first started offering low-fare flights between Thunder Bay and Toronto in June 2021, with three weekly flights between the city and Pearson International Airport.
On Wednesday, Flair announced a service expansion that will increase frequency on 41 routes across Canada.
That will include a weekly schedule of four flights between Thunder Bay and Toronto beginning in the summer of 2023.
“We are planning to serve Thunder Bay from Toronto in the winter twice a week, and planning to ramp that up to four times a week for the summer schedule,” said Eric Tanner, vice-president of network planning with Flair Airlines. “We had that coincide with our expectations of when the runway construction will end, because we are eager to get back to the Thunder Bay market.”
The airline said it is adding seven additional aircraft to its fleet to support the expansion.
“We're looking ahead to another busy summer next year and we've increased our capacity significantly to keep up with increased demand," said chief commercial officer Garth Lund in a statement.
"Welcoming an additional seven aircraft into our fleet allows us to increase frequencies on our most travelled routes, giving passengers more options. As we expand our fleet, we're also thrilled to expand our team across the country as Canada's largest low-fare airline."
Work on the $20 million upgrades to the main runway at the Thunder Bay International Airport began last May. The secondary runway remained available, but jet service to the city was suspended. Flair Airlines flies the Boeing 737 aircraft.
Jet service is expected to resume at the airport at the start of November. The first booking available on the Flair Airline website between Thunder Bay and Toronto is listed on Nov. 1, 2022.